June 13, 2019
WCC joins Prof. Stuart Parsons, zoologist and bat specialist from QUT, to chat all things batty before his presentation at the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland’s Brisbane Branch!
Prof. Parsons is the Head of School in Earth, Environment & Biological Sciences at the Queensland University of Technology. With a broad interest in sensory ecology & animal behaviour, his research ranges from auditory anatomy and biological sonar to mating systems, and more. Much of his work involves the bats of the world, but also insects, birds and whales, often with a focus on bioacoustics. He’s the May 2019 guest speaker at the WPSQ Bris Branch, presenting “Bats: from Myth to Majesty”.
Photo credit: Queensland University of Technology
June 5, 2019
We’re talking cane toads, goannas, and traditional ecological knowledge with Dr. Georgia Ward-Fear while enjoying caramel-vanilla slice and a Sweet Poison cocktail! Dr. Ward-Fear is a conservation ecologist at the University of Sydney with a broad interest in evolution, ecology, invasive species, reptiles, and more. We chat about her fascinating PhD research and conservation program, training wild yellow-spotted monitor lizards to avoid poisonous cane toads via Conditioned Taste Aversion. We also discuss the vital role of indigenous ranger collaboration for the success of this novel conservation program.
Follow Dr. Georgia Ward-Fear Twitter @g_wardfear, and check out www.canetoadcoalition.com
Ward-Fear 2016 Ecological immunization: in situ training of free-ranging predatory lizards reduces their vulnerability to invasive toxic prey. Biology Letters. Vol. 12, Issue 1. https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/abs/10.1098/rsbl.2015.0863
Ward‐Fear et al 2019 Sharper eyes see shyer lizards: Collaboration with indigenous peoples can alter the outcomes of conservation research. Conservation Letters. Online early. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/conl.12643
May 26, 2019
WCC is back out at Rainbow Beach for Cooloola BioBlitz 2019, organised by Cooloola Coast Care Inc. and the Fraser Island Defenders Organisation. Cooloola BioBlitz is a weekend of biological survey to record as many of the living species as possible in the Cooloola Sands region, and this second survey is sure to be a blast!
We chat with some of the awesome scientific team leaders and organisers about their weekend full of discoveries and citizen science action.
For more, check out@CooloolaBioBlitz and @CooloolaCoastcare on Facebook, or CooloolaCoastcare.org.au.
FIDO details can be found at @FraserIslandDefendersOrganisation.
You can also check out @iNaturalist on Facebook and Twitter, or iNaturalist.org
April 7, 2019
We’re back on the WCC couch enjoying Purple Finch cocktails and poppy-seed cake talking Black-throated finches with Dr. April Reside from the Uni of Queensland!
Dr. Reside is a keen birder, ecologist, and conservation researcher with a focus on spatial modelling. She’s also a member of the Black Throated Finch Recovery Team and a Research & Conservation Committee member at BirdLifeAus.
We discuss Black-throated finch ecology and conservation challenges including habitat loss, land clearing, mining in the Galilee Basin, and much more.
You can follow Dr April Reside on Twitter @april_reside, and the BTF Recovery Team Website at blackthroatedfinch.com
Hooper et al 2018. Sex chromosome inversions enforce reproductive isolation across an avian hybrid zone. Molecular Ecology.
Photo Credit: The University of Queensland
March 31, 2019
In this episode we chat with Queensland Museum’s Robert Whyte. Rob is a scientist, journalist, author, editor, photographer, and more, with a passion for Australian spiders. He was co-author of A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia, the most comprehensive account of Australian spiders ever published. Rob was the leader of the Spider Team at the 2018 Cooloola Bioblitz who discovered 37 species new species, making news across the globe.
He was guest speaker at the WPSQ Brisbane branch March 2019 presentation: “Citizens doing it for themselves – 2018 Cooloola BioBlitz – Beauty & mystery in new species”
You can follow Rob on Twitter@robertwhyte, and keep an eye out for his upcoming web series, Jolt Science TV at JoltScience.com.au
For more spider-goodness go to australasianarachnologicalsociety.org
More talks on the way from WPSQ Brisbane Branch on Facebook@WildlifeQueenslandBrisbaneBranch
Check out @CooloolaCoastcare for details on the next Cooloola BioBlitz in May 2019
March 15, 2019
We cross over to Tasmania to discuss the Rakali, AKA the Australian Water Rat with Cory Young! Cory has extensive experience in wildlife rehabilitation with a broad range of species including the Rakali and is the VP of the Tasmanian Wildlife Rehabilitation Council at TasWildlife.org. He has a passion for the Rakali and is strong advocate for these amazing, otter-like aquatic animals.
Check out @taswildlife, or follow Corey on IG@cyoung102, and keep an eye out for @RakaliAwarenessDayon February 18th.
February 14, 2019
In this bat-centric episode, our summer-heatwave continues, as does our climate-change focus. We're joined by Maree Treadwell Kerr (@MareeTreadwellK) from the Australasian Bat Society (@AustralasianBatSociety, ausbats.org.au) to discuss heatwave impacts on fruit-bats, while sipping some Tropical Heat cocktails along with fruity bat-cupcakes. Join us for a detailed look at the heatwaves, heat stress events and mass die-offs, particularly in the Spectacled Flying Fox, before we dive into some batty New Research segments.
McMichael et al. 2018 Hematology and Plasma Biochemistry of Wild Spectacled Flying Foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) in Australia. J of Wildlife Diseases. Doi: 10.7589/2018-04-096
Giles et al. 2018 Environmental drivers of spatiotemporal foraging intensity in fruit bats and implications for Hendra virus ecology. Scientific Reports 8:9555
January 31, 2019
Happy 2019! For our first show of the year we're trying something different. In these new RantCast segments, my producer Kristian and I discuss a current topic in wildlife, environment, or conservation. We'd love your comments below, make sure to follow and subscribe to join the discussion in future shows!
In this episode, we discuss the ongoing summer heatwaves we're experiencing this in Australia. Specifically, we cover the impacts and mass die-offs of fruit-bats in around the country. We also discuss the concurrent mass fish deaths in the Menindee Lakes region, the process of eutrophication in Australian rivers, and potential mismanagement of the Murray-Darling River system.
December 18, 2018
NEW #WCC!! We're back on the couch with James Dorey and Olivia Davies to talk native Australian bees
James is completing his PhD at Flinders University and the South Australian Museum in Adelaide. Despite the workload, he recently released the stunningly beautiful Bees of Australia – A Photographic Exploration through @CSIROPublishing. He's currently travelling the east coast as part of his book tour and to conduct field research. He is joined by partner and fellow bee/Wolbachia researcher Olivia Davies, also a PhD student at Flinders University.
Over some honey-cake and mead-based cocktails, we discuss Australia's diverse native bee fauna, the importance of pollinators, and of-course, the incredible macro-photgraphy in James' new book. Check out JamesDoreyPhotography.com.au, or JamesDoreyPhotography on social media.
Bees of Australia – A Photographic Exploration by James Dorey is now out, a great early/late Christmas present, available from bookstores at or @CSIROPublishing (publish.csiro.au)